The city of St. Pete is home to many historic neighborhoods and original architecture dating back to the 1920s. You may even be living in an historic home without knowing it. Aside from public spaces and landmarks, Preserve the ‘Burg works to preserve the core of our city’s roots—our residential areas. Our preservation experts can teach you about the history of your home and what to look for when preserving your space.
A historic home is a home that is over 50 years old and is connected to important events. Even if your home itself isn’t historic, it may fall within a historic district and be subject to the same rules as other historic buildings. At the time of approval, the structures within a local district will be identified as either contributing (historic) or non-contributing (non-historic).
Generally, a building must be at least 50 years old and retain its historic features and feel to be considered as a contributing resource. The review of proposed significant exterior changes or demolition of a non-contributing structure will be focused on the potential impact to the neighborhood rather than on the individual building.
Learn More: How Does Historic Landmark Designation Work
Restoring a historic home requires careful consideration and planning. Preserve the ‘Burg has collaborated with the City of St. Petersburg to offer design guidelines for historic properties, which includes for commercial and residential buildings.
As an individual homeowner, you might be interested in designating your home as a historic building. The St. Petersburg Register of Historic Places is a local designation program administered by City staff. Eligibility for the St. Petersburg Register, often referred to as “local landmark designation,” is established through a set of criteria that are closely modeled after the National Register Criteria for Evaluation.
Designation as a local landmark provides properties with a degree of protection from unnecessary demolition or unsympathetic alterations by private owners. Historic preservation staff conducts reviews of proposed changes to locally designated properties through the issuance of Certificates of Appropriateness.
About homes in historic districts
Your home might be in one of our city’s local or National Register historic districts, or a neighborhood currently applying for historic district designation. This means that your home is in a neighborhood that plays an important part in St. Pete’s unique sense of place! Current historic districts with designation on the National Register include Roser Park, Northshore (the Historic Old Northeast), Historic Kenwood, Round Lake (Historic Uptown) and Downtown. On the local level, Granada Terrace, Lang’s Bungalow Court, Historic Kenwood Seminole Park, Northwest Historic Kenwood, and Welch’s Mediterranean Row carry local historic district designation.
If your home is in one of the neighborhoods with local designation, the city conducts review of proposed demolition, new construction or significant exterior alteration of buildings within a local district. The goal of the review process is to discourage demolition of historic buildings and to encourage exterior building alterations or new construction to be consistent with the neighborhood's character.
For residential neighborhoods, a National Register district designation is primarily honorary in that such designation does not require design or demolition review. National Register designation, however, offers a significant incentive to owners of "income producing" properties to renovate and reuse historic buildings in the form of a Federal tax credit for property improvements undertaken in accord with preservation guidelines.
If you’ve decided to move out of your historic home, the home selling process is a bit different. You should look for an agent with specific experience selling historic homes like yours. When preparing your home for sale, do everything you can in the staging process to maintain historic integrity in the interior and exterior design—while you might still clean and declutter, you’ll want to skip that fresh coat of paint and modern staging. You will also want to take the time to talk with prospective buyers about their plans for the home with the knowledge that it’s historic—ensure that you’ve done your homework, and that your home’s original character won’t get destroyed by a flipper knocking out walls and throwing up trendy shiplap and subway tile.
If you want to protect your home even further, you might consider creating a historic preservation easement. These easements are recorded on the deed of your home and protect it from alterations that would negatively impact the home’s history and character. These easements also come with tax benefits. While it might make it harder to sell your home because of the restrictions on renovations, you’ll ensure that your buyer shares your interest in keeping St. Pete special! You can read more about historic preservation easements at the link below.